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After reading a couple of books previously by Mary Balogh, I now find myself keeping an eye out for additional one's to borrow from my local library, with this being the newest one to catch my eye!
The book in question is - "Slightly dangerous".
Christine is everything she shouldn't be, a gentleman's daughter but not from money, married previously to someone much higher in standing than she, yet she still has a real tendency to not act as ladies should, but preferring to be the life and sole of the party, though she never sets out to do so!
After becoming widowed, her best friend Mel takes pity on her and decides to she just must attend one of her legendary summer visits, so after much badgering to do so, Christine relents and decides to attend, though when she see's who else is there she gets the distinct impression that she will live to regret her decision!
Wulfric Bedwyn is a duke through and through, and has been brought up to be so since the age of twelve, when his beloved father passed away.
After losing his mistress Rose a season ago, he feels that there is undoubtedly nothing left for him, so finds himself retreating within himself, though from his cold and impenetrable outer self you would never know the difference!
After being cajoled into a summer soiree that he instantly regrets attending he happens on a most preposterous woman, she is always putting her foot in her mouth she speaks out of turn, she even had the audacity to (albeit accidentally) pour lemonade into his eye!
He decides immediately to avoid her beyond all others, yet (so like many of the other men Christine comes into contact with) finds himself drawn to her light, will he ever get her out of his head?
If this plot sounds familiar I think it may be due to it reading quite like the relationship between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, in "pride and prejudice", with the man presuming that everyone should now how important he was and expecting everyone to bow down to him (though of course many do) and there being one individual who refuses to!
The story is fun and comical at times, with the rest of the "ton" (visitors to the party) acting as they should in accordance to their status at the gathering, but Christine doesn't come from society, so acts as she she's fit, shocking many of the ladies initially, then feeling their wrath when they realise she is drawing all the eligible bachelors away from them, though after Christine's husband dies under a veil of secrecy, she is far from being interested in another man, though of course you can see where this story is leading can't you!
This is a "will they, won't they" story, that will leave guessing right up until the last couple of pages, and had me completely hooked from the start.
The book is fantastic and infuriating all at the same time, with the character of Christine being so endearing, a young woman (passed her prime at the age of 30!), losing the love of her life so young, and deciding to settle for a life of spinsterhood with her mother and eldest sister, finding a man that she hates beyond compare, but seemingly not able to put him out her mind!
The character of Wulfric I would class as being as annoying as Christine is endearing! He is pompous, self righteous and thinks that due to his elevated status in life should mean that everyone should bow and scrape to him, which in fairness most do with his bad attitude being legendary among the "ton", but just can't seem to rattle Christine!
This book is a fantastic read, and ideal for anyone that like their romance books complete with "sense and sensibilities", a nice light read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed!
Price wise this is available for a mere few pounds form www.amazon.co.uk, and though part of a series of books surrounding the "Bedwyn" family, and how all the couples got together in the first place, is also a stand alone book, easy enough to read without prior knowledge of the characters.
Thanks for reading x